Nothing better than a freshly brewed cup of joe in the morning, right?

The invigorating aroma, the rich, lingering flavor and the jolt of caffeine - all essential components of a healthy start to the day.

What we don’t do, however, is take a handful of coffee beans and chuck them in our mouth. At least, most of us don’t. 

We wait for them to be roasted, ground, steeped, filtered, and only then do we enjoy the drink.

Oh, and not every bean gets to be poured. Some are not good enough to be roasted, some don’t make their way through the process, some are not ground up properly...but every step brings a bean closer to the cup.

It’s the same with leads.

At any moment, you have several leads in your calendar.

However, not everyone is at the same stage, and not all of them will close.

Much like your coffee beans, a lead also goes through several stages where they are roasted, ground, boi…no wait. Wrong list.

Your leads go through stages like

  1. Contact
  2. Qualification
  3. Meeting
  4. Proposal
  5. Negotiations
  6. Close
  7. Renewal and Upselling

A sales pipeline is a process whereby you list your leads based on the stage they are in. Together, they form a pipeline of leads where the ones closest to conversion are on one end of the pipeline and the ones farthest are at the other end.

There are several very good reasons to do this:

  1. Make more accurate sales forecasts. - Depending on the typical length of each stage and the individual size of each deal, you can create accurate revenue forecasts.
  2. Identify bottlenecks - Too many deals stuck in one particular stage? You need to investigate. It’s like having bags of coffee in the warehouse but none in the coffee machine.
  3. Find revenue leaks - Revenue leak occurs when your revenue process is not optimized. A sales pipeline lets you figure out such instances easily, like if your team is focusing on deals that likely won’t convert, or if an exceptional number of promising deals are not going from one stage to the next.

There’s a lot more we have to say on sales pipelines, check out our blog! It goes great with a cup of coffee in the morning!

TL;DR - A sales pipeline is the series of stages a lead has to go through to finally become the best news of your week.